3/13 Leviticus 11:45

45 For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

God wanted His people, the Israelites, to be set apart. That is the meaning of the word "holy." He wanted to distinguish them from the other nations, for He was revealing Himself to the world through their prophets. This command came at the end of the list of foods that they were allowed to eat. Certain animals and sea creatures and insects were to be unclean to them.

Today we know some of the problems that come from some of these foods. They were not to eat the fat of the sacrifices. Now we know it increases our cholesterol levels. They were not to eat pork. Wild pork often can carry the roundworm that causes trichinosis. Asian islanders have a high rate of stomach cancer that may be connected to shell fish. All of these foods were forbidden to the Israelites for their good.

The Israelites did not understand that obeying God was not merely to set them apart but also for their health. The fact that they were a healthy people with a long life span was a sign of blessing that witnessed to the nations around them. God's people today don't necessarily need to follow the same food restrictions, but we should take care of our bodies as a part of our witness. The Apostle Paul tells us that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:19). That is why we should not abuse them by over indulging in any food or drink. Your testimony is not just in what you say and preach, but in how you live your life.

Just as God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He brings us out of the world system. Peter quotes this passage to remind us to be self-controlled (1Peter 1:13-16). He relates this to not living in the passions that once controlled us, but to have conduct that is consistent with our new life.

Consider: What does my daily life and care of my body say to others?